by Alissa Wu ’23
Published Mar. 26th, 2021
On February 26th, Montgomery’s Jumpstart Club ran its 7th Jumpstart Expo, an annual dance competition that raises scholarship money for deserving students in the community.
Instead of an in-person show, the JSE was held on Youtube this year as a smoothly combined video compilation. Pranav Chaturvedi ’23 remarks on the “incredibly beautiful graphics and transitions” of the video, which highlighted the enthusiasm and devotion of Jumpstart members despite the difficulties of holding a virtual event. “We were still able to exhibit the excellent talents of the dancers in our community while supporting local businesses,” says Jumpstart’s president Connor Li.
The event began with a self-choreographed dance by Priya Patel, a junior at Princeton High School. Wearing a scarlet and teal lehenga, she energetically danced to “Channe Ke Khet Mein” from the Bollywood film Anjaam. Although she prefers live performances, she enjoyed expressing herself through self-choreography, saying “oldies Bollywood has always had a place in my heart, and I’m just glad to have had the opportunity to dance on my own terms to a song I love.”
The Montgomery Cougarettes, MHS’s nationally ranked dance team, performed to “Rain On Me” by Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande. The team highlights how performing despite unexpected circumstances demonstrated their strength and resilience as a team.
Next was Kaitlyn Chau, a senior at Montgomery High School who has been dancing for ten years. She performed several dynamic dances to “REDMERCEDES” by Amine, “Own It” by Ella Mai, and “Laugh Now Cry Later” by Drake.
“I miss the hype from the crowd and the nerves I would usually get before performing,” she responded when asked about her opinion on virtual performances. “Especially since you only have one chance at an in-person competition, you always feel inclined to give it your all.”
Next, Annie Yao presented a Chinese classical dance named “Chrysanthemum Terrace”. As a dancer of 10 years, she is familiar with preparing for competitions, and affirmed her enjoyment in “watching other people’s amazing performances!”
Clutch Collective, a dance group led by professional dancer Kenny Clutch, performed JSE’s final dances. In blue sweaters and black pants, the performers synchronized to a mashup of songs that exuded professional but fun energy. Each song highlighted different subgroups of dancers while demonstrating their unity as a whole team.
No matter the format, Jumpstart remains a place to experience memorable moments, learn new skills, and meet new friends through events like JSE. As Connor remarks, “Jumpstart has been a defining point of my time in high school, and I would love to see where new members take the club in the future.”